Startup Spotlight: Understoodit – Measuring students’ understanding in real time
Founder, Liam Kaufman
Understoodit is a device agnostic web app that runs on devices students already own – smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks – and allows students to anonymously, and in real-time, indicate if they understand or are confused, thus virtually eliminating a student’s hesitation in saying “hey, I don’t get this” during a lecture in front of 250 other students. Teachers get instant feedback using their own devices on the content they are teaching, and can modify their lectures in the moment to increase understanding.
Kaufman came up with the idea for Understoodit in December, 2011 and launched in April, 2012.
Understoodit was founded and is based in Toronto, Canada
A recipient of multiple degrees over an academic career spanning 10 years, Mr. Kaufman observed the same behavior over and over in lectures, and that was that students were not interacting with their teachers and vice versa. Whatever the reason for the hesitation was, the bottom line was still the same: students were getting lost but not speaking up while their professors, often lecturing to a large number of students, weren’t noticing. With Understoodit, a student simply uses the browser based web app on any device and with a single click, anonymously indicates whether they understand what’s being discussed – or do not. The student responses are then relayed to a real time dashboard monitored by the instructor, who can then adjust the lecture accordingly.
Mr. Kaufman is currently funding the project on his own and starting small. He built the prototype on his own and worked with a designer to make the interface more user friendly. Currently, Understoodit is being tested by invitation only in a few entry-level computer science courses in and around the Toronto area, and is expected to be made avaliable to the public
by the end of the summer.
Check out Understoodit here
Follow Understoodit on Twitter @Understoodit
Follow Founder Liam Kaufman on Twitter @liamkaufman